Ray Allen's departure from the Celtics has led to some controversy, especially since Boston offered the 37-year-old more money than Miami did. Perhaps the Celtics' offer was even sweeter than originally believed, though.
Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said Thursday that in addition to offering Allen twice as much money (two years, $12 million) as Miami did (three years, about $3 million per year), he also added a no-trade clause to the contract, according to ESPN.com.
The latest revelation serves as further proof that Allen was looking for a change of scenery. Allen said that he was phased into a lesser role in Boston and was being used as a decoy, which obviously didn't sit well with the 10-time All-Star, regardless of the amount of money he was offered to stick around.
Allen also seems to have been turned off a bit by the way the free agency process played out this time around.
"Two years ago when I was a free agent, the whole organization sent me a text asking me to come back," Allen told ESPN.com. "This time it was a little more subdued."
Allen's relationship with Celtics coach Doc Rivers reportedly faltered during Allen's final months in Boston, which may have also contributed to Allen leaving money on the table to join the Heat.
"Doc never called and said, 'We want you to come back,'" Allen reportedly said. "I can't say I expected him to do that. It's hard to say what the protocol is in those situations."
This latest news of a no-trade clause will only make Celtics fans a bit more bitter about Allen jumping ship for Boston's rival, especially after the intense, seven-game series the two teams had in the Eastern Conference Finals last season. But Allen made it clear that his intention was never to stick it to the Celtics by joining the Heat. Instead, he chose Miami because it presented the best fit.
"No, no, it wasn't like that," Allen reportedly said of the notion that he signed with the Heat out of spite. "I didn't want to go anywhere. It hurt my family to leave. But once they loaded the roster, got Jason Terry, signed everyone but me, you could tell it was, 'We can bring Ray back, but if he doesn't come back, we're all set.'"
For Allen, it was business.
"I never looked at it as Miami against Boston," Allen reportedly said. "It was just a team that was a great fit.
"You can't look at it and say, 'Well, I can't do this. This is the team we've been trying to get past.' You have to think about yourself as a player, and where you can continue to play and contend for a championship."
Allen would have been able to contend for a championship either way. In the end, he chose Miami, where his role will be bigger, but his wallet will be lighter.